The Cabinet retreat over the last few days brought back memories and deep thoughts. From afar, the problems seem very easy to solve and many times we wonder why those before us didn’t solve them?
Here are my honest observations:
- the problems are too many. it is unbelievable how the problems are all over the place. in every sector or ministry or agency, there are just too many problems. sometimes it seems like for every problem that is solved there are many more that pop up.
- the resources to address the problems are very limited. trying to rationalize the distribution of resources sometimes makes you feel stupid. its like you don’t know what you are doing but the truth is that it is not easy. the size of the resource envelop when compared to the size of the problems, you don’t know where to start.
- and then the rules. we spend a lot of time trying to obey the rules that the small resources don’t do much. in fact, obeying the rules have also put strain on the resource envelop. it is now costing a lot in money and time
Truth be told, I don’t envy those who have the herculean task of brining all those things together: solving multiple problems with very limited resources within a very complicated rule-based regime.
I tell people, imagine fitting a request for 2 billion into an envelop of 500 million. at certain point the distribution has no science, no rhyme and no rhythm. the distribution defies reasoning. there are times when we have to cut support from “revenue generating” entities simply because we don’t have; not because we think they are not important. we know that they are important but then some “cost center” or “social service” or “security” will not be funded. but then again if we don’t fund the “revenue generating” we might not be able to raise the resources to fund the other stuff. this stuff starts to drive you crazy…
Because I sat there before, I know what they are going through and I can only wish them the best.